It's here people. We've been waiting and waiting, and the wine revolution is finally underway. This time last year it felt like there was hardly anywhere to get a decent glass of non-industrial wine in the city centre, but now we have Loose Canon, Frank's and First Draft all within spitting distance of Stephen's Green. A lot done, a lot more to do (like literally anywhere on the Northside), and if we could just do something about our horrifying alcohol taxes (we have the highest excise duties on wine in the entire EU) we'd all be able to put better stuff into our bodies, but that's for another day. For now, these are the best places to drink quality wine in Dublin...
1) Loose Canon
If you're wondering what all the fuss is about natural wine, Loose Canon should be your first stop. From the same owners as everyone's favourite brunch spot Meet Me In The Morning, Loose Canon is modelled on the natural wine shop/bars that seem to be on every corner of Paris. They have a regularly changing by the glass list, or you can drink anything from the shelf at €10 corkage. Epic cheese toasties and small plates are also available, and you can carry on the party by buying more wine and cheese to take home. Read more about Loose Canon here.
The first city centre wine bar that got us properly excited, Piglet seemed like something of an outlier when it opened in Temple Bar in late 2015, and quickly became an industry favourite. The bottle list is where most of the interesting stuff is, so going with a gang of experimental friends is the way to go. There are few places we'd rather be on a sunny evening than at one of the outside tables sipping a white port and tonic.
The new kid on the block, Frank's opened in a former butcher's shop in May, with the controversial approach of selling good wine at inexpensive prices, starting at just €4.50 a glass, which is practically free by Dublin standards. It's from the same guys who own Delahunt a few doors down, and there's a focus on minimal intervention wine on tap and in bottle. It's open for drink in or take home from Wednesday to Sunday, with the kitchen serving inventive small plates every day except Wednesday.
4) First Draft Coffee & Wine
Another much welcome newbie, First Draft Coffee & Wine opened last November, and it's safe to say it's the neighbourhood wine bar that Portobello was waiting for. Café by day, wine den by night, it's a super chilled place to hang out and drink wines made by real people with real (as opposed to made up for marketing purposes) stories. The usual small plates are available for satisfactory soakage, and you can buy wine to take home. Read more about First Draft here.
5) Fish Shop, Benburb Street
Fish Shop Benburb Street (and their main restaurant on Queen Street) have been some of the best places to drink wine since they opened, due to having two of the most interesting lists in the city (plus sherry, there's nowhere near enough sherry in Dublin), but they've really upped the stakes with their new Monday Wine Club. Each week they pour a brilliant selection of wines at prices you won't see anywhere else, like €7.50 for a class of grower Champagne (the best of the best), which would be twice the price or more under normal wine margins. It's hard to even get a bog standard glass of prosecco for €7.50 these days, so if you have any sense you will drop all plans next Monday and go straight here..
6) La Cave
La Cave is one of the more old-school options in the city centre, but on a cold Winter's evening the cosy downstairs bar decked in red from top to bottom is a great place to shelter. They do a cracking crémant by the glass (similar to Champagne), and the bottle list is full of diamonds if you know what to look for. Staff will be happy to help you pick if not.
7) Green Man Wines
Part award-winning shop, part much lauded wine bar, the €8 corkage on anything off the shelf makes this one of the best value places in the city to drink the really good stuff. The selection in here is second to none, and people travel from across the city to Terenure to buy and drink wine here.
8) 64 Wine
Another diamond in suburbia, 64 Wine makes wine fiends everywhere severely jealous that they don't live in Glasthule. The shelves are crammed full of the best bottles currently available on the Irish market, and the staff are always dying to tell you the stories behind them. Like Green Man Wines, corkage on anything off the shelf is €8, which is increasingly better value the more expensive your taste. Just try to leave here without draining your bank account. We've found it impossible.
9) Little Mikes
The little brother to seafood destination Michael's in Mount Merrion, Little Mike's appeared fully formed in May serving an eclectic wine selection and seafood small plates (and deep-fried gruyère - just as good as you are imagining). A regularly changing wine list with plenty of natural and unusual options (like Swiss wine and Californian trousseau gris) as well as Zalto glasses to drink them out of, make the southside an increasingly excellent place to find good wine. Read more about Little Mike's here.
One of the originals on the Dublin wine scene, Ely has two locations - the corporate heavy Ely Bar & Grill in the IFSC, and the more chilled (but still a bit corporate) Ely Wine Bar on Ely Place off Baggot Street. In the past their by the glass list has been a bit safe for our liking, but the one in Ely Place is looking a lot more appealing these days, with some interesting sparkling and sherries by the glass. The hugely extensive bottle list is where it's at so it might be worth arriving early for a full peruse.
11) Beo Wine Bar + Kitchen
A vegan restaurant in uber cool Stoneybatter might not be the first place you think of when you're thirsty for wine, but Beo Wine Bar + Kitchen has a very impressive wine list, thoughtfully selected with minimal intervention at the forefront of their thinking. Grab a stool at the bar, order a vegan cheeseboard (or not, your choice) and get stuck into it. Read more about Beo here.
Did you miss any of your favourite wine haunts? Let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.